“It is quite common to hear high officials in Washington and elsewhere speak of changing the map of the Middle East, as if ancient societies and myriad peoples can be shaken up like so many peanuts in a jar.”

― Edward W. Said

"A developing country that wants to develop its economy must first of all keep natural resources in its own hands."
- Deng Xiaoping

Friday, October 31, 2014

Documentary: Gaddafi The Truth About Libya

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Libya Under Gaddafi's So-called Dictatorship

Urban Times - 16th May 2014

What do you think of when you hear the name Colonel Gaddafi? Tyrant? Dictator? Terrorist? Well, a national citizen of Libya may disagree but we want you to decide.

Ruling the country for for 41 years until his demise in October 2011, Muammar Gaddafi did some truly amazing things for his country and repeatedly tried to unite and empower the whole of Africa. So despite what you’ve heard on the radio, seen in the media or on the TV Gaddafi did some powerful things that were not very reminiscent of a vicious dictator. Here are ten things Gaddafi did for Libya that you may not know about…

1. In Libya a home is considered a natural human right
2. Education and medical treatment were all free
3. Gaddafi carried out the worlds largest irrigation project
4. It was free to start a farming business.
5. A bursary was given to mothers with newborn babies.
6. Electricity was free.
7.  Cheap petrol
8. Gaddafi raised the level of education
9. Libya had It’s own state bank
10. The gold dinar


The Uyghurs

China's obsession with vertical cities

By the end of next year one-in-three of the world’s 100m+ skyscrapers will be in China, as its state-orchestrated urbanisation drive prompts a megacity building bonanza

Nicola Davison in Shanghai 

The Guardian - Thursday 30 October 2014

In late September, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a non-profit organisation that keeps the world’s largest database on skyscrapers, held its annual conference in Shanghai – two years after its last meeting there. “We’ve never done that before, gone back to the same city,” says Antony Wood, the council’s executive director. “But right now, most of the major advances in the typology, in design or in technical terms, are happening in China.”
As the global population rises and cities become more crowded, the fabric of urban centres is changing. Nowhere is the phenomenon more pronounced than in China, where a state-orchestrated urbanisation drive has prompted a megacity building bonanza characterised by skyscrapers and sprawl. By the end of 2015, one in three of the world’s buildings over 150-metres will be in China. Construction of the world’s second-tallest building, the 632-metre tall Shanghai Tower, is due to be completed next year.
Few people outside China have heard of Suzhou, a city in the eastern province of Jiangsu with a population of 1.3 million (China now has over 140 cities of more than one million people; America has nine). Yet if all goes to plan, Suzhou will soon boast the world’s third-tallest building, the 700m Zhongnan Centre. Other Chinese cities joining the upward rush include Shenzhen, Wuhan, Tianjin and Shenyang. By 2020, China is set to be home to six of the world’s 10 tallest buildings, although none will top the globe’s current highest, the 828m Burj Khalifa in Dubai.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

An Interview: Michael Burawoy on Global Social Movements

By Matt Gunther

Office Hours - 10/24/2014

Famed sociologist Michael Burawoy visits to share his thoughts on the common character of social movements happening throughout the world today. Michael is the former president of both the American and International Sociological Associations, and he is widely credited as a master of placing everyday life in the context of global and historical forces. Our own Erik Kojola asks Michael about his vision for the future of social movement research, as well as the mounting problems that face public universities today.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fiji PM Criticized For Saying Development Should Primarily Benefit Supporters

Opposition MPs call on Bainimarama to treat everyone equally

By Siteri Sauvakacolo

Pacific Islands Report - Oct. 28, 2014

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 28, 2014) – Itaukei Affairs Shadow Minister and member of the Opposition, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, said development funds for Fijians come from all taxpayers as well as foreign donors and they have equal rights for their tax dollars to be used for their wellbeing.
He made the statement in response to comments made by Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama that he was a bit worried about continuing with development projects in the Northern Division because some voters didn't vote for the FijiFirst party in the recent general election.
While addressing government officials and some villagers at Naulumatua House in Nabouwalu, Bua, on Saturday, Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama said people in some parts of the Northern Division didn't want developments to take place in their respective settings, prompting them to vote for SODELPA.
Ratu Naiqama, in a statement yesterday, called on foreign aid donors to take heed of the stated position of the Prime Minister and be sure to secure guarantees that the funds they give to Fiji for the benefit of all people are not used primarily to benefit only FijiFirst supporters.
The Cakaudrove chief said foreign countries would do well to tread cautiously when re-establishing relations with the Government.

Living Wages, Rarity for U.S. Fast-Food Workers, Served Up in Denmark


The New York Times - OCT. 27, 2014

COPENHAGEN — On a recent afternoon, Hampus Elofsson ended his 40-hour workweek at a Burger King and prepared for a movie and beer with friends. He had paid his rent and all his bills, stashed away some savings, yet still had money for nights out.
That is because he earns the equivalent of $20 an hour — the base wage for fast-food workers throughout Denmark and two and a half times what many fast-food workers earn in the United States.
“You can make a decent living here working in fast food,” said Mr. Elofsson, 24. “You don’t have to struggle to get by.”
With an eye to workers like Mr. Elofsson, some American labor activists and liberal scholars are posing a provocative question: If Danish chains can pay $20 an hour, why can’t those in the United States pay the $15 an hour that many fast-food workers have been clamoring for?


Sunday, October 26, 2014

World Air traffic in 24 and A Day in the Life of Air Traffic Over the United States

World Air traffic in 24

A Day in the Life of Air Traffic Over the United States

European Roma descended from Indian 'untouchables', genetic study shows

Roma gypsies in Britain and Europe are descended from "dalits" or low caste "untouchables" who migrated from the Indian sub-continent 1,400 years ago, a genetic study has suggested.

By Dean Nelson New Delhi

The Telegraph - 03 Dec 2012

Gypsies have long believed they have origins in India, citing common Sanskrit words in their languages and photographs of darker-skinned ancestors in South Asian clothes, while earlier research has offered some scientific support for their suspicions.
Now a study led by Indian and Estonian academics, including Dr Toomas Kivisild of Cambridge University, has confirmed their origins in the Indian sub-continent, and even identified the location and social background from which they emerged.
The findings have been welcomed by Britain's Gypsy Council, which said it would help to promote understanding of Roma people throughout Europe. "We are Britain's first Non-Resident Indian community," said council spokesman Joseph Jones.
The study, which was published this month in the journal Nature, examined Y chromosomes in DNA samples to compare the genetic signatures of European Roma men with those of thousands of Indians from throughout the sub-continent.


Dilma Rousseff is reelected president of Brazil in bitterly fought runoff

By Dom Phillips

The Washington Post - October 26, 2014

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was reelected by a whisker in a second-round head-to-head vote, after one of the closest, most aggressive campaigns in the country’s recent history.
Rousseff, whose left-wing Workers’ Party has governed Brazil since 2003, had 51.6 percent with 99 percent of votes counted. Aécio Neves, the center-right candidate for the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, came second, with 48.4 percent.
Cheers rang out and firecrackers exploded in central Rio as the results came in. The election was the top subject of discussion Sunday, with Workers’ Party activists carrying red flags and both sides setting up camps under awnings on city streets.
Rousseff’s party campaigned hard on its social policies, playing down Brazil’s stumbling economy and emphasizing social programs, which have helped to reduce poverty by 55 percent since 2003.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Intermarriage: Can Anything Be Done?

The battle is over; or so we’re told. A half-century after the rate of intermarriage in the US began to skyrocket, the Jewish community appears to have resigned itself to the inevitable. But to declare defeat is preposterous.

Jack Wertheimer

Mosaic Magazine - Sept. 3 2013

The battle is over; or so we’re told. A half-century after the rate of Jewish intermarriage began its rapid ascent in the United States, reaching just under 50 percent by the late 1990s, many communal spokesmen appear to have resigned themselves to the inevitable. Some speak in tones of sorrow and defeat. Encouraging endogamy, they say, has become a fool’s errand; few Jews are receptive to the message, and short of a wholesale retreat into the ghetto, no prophylactic measure will prevent them from marrying non-Jews. For others, the battle is over because it should be over. Not only, they say, are high rates of intermarriage inevitable in an open society, but they constitute glorious proof of just how fully Jews have been accepted in today’s America. The real threat, according to this view, emanates from those who stigmatize intermarried families as somehow deficient; with a less judgmental and more hospitable attitude on the part of communal institutions, many more intermarried families would be casting their lot with the Jewish people.


China may find its match in PM Narendra Modi

The Times of India - October 8, 2014

Indrajeet Rai

The timing of the recent 16-day stand-off between the Chinese and the Indian forces in the Ladakh sector was very odd. It started just a few days before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s maiden visit to India. It outlasted Xi’s India trip. In a quirky situation, both – the Chinese President and the PLA troops — were inside the Indian territory.  Various explanations have been offered for the peculiar timing of this stand-off between PLA troops and the Indian Army. The first and foremost is that Chinese President Xi Jinping wanted to put pressure on the Narendra Modi government before embarking on his India tour. Second, China does not like the growing bonhomie between India and Japan and the incursions were the Chinese way of saying that China can put India under mat at any time of its choosing. Third, these intrusions were meant to signal that growing bilateral trade between the two countries has not made China lenient in any way. When it comes to the settlement of the border row, China would be as tough as ever. Finally, India under PM Narendra Modi has become more aggressive at the LAC and, unlike in the past, the Indian Army refused to budge and held its ground.


Why women leave academia and why universities should be worried

The Guardian - Thursday 24 May 2012

A recent report reveals that only 12% of third year female PhD students want a career in academia. Curt Rice looks at the reasons why and warns that universities' survival is at risk

Young women scientists leave academia in far greater numbers than men for three reasons. During their time as PhD candidates, large numbers of women conclude that (i) the characteristics of academic careers are unappealing, (ii) the impediments they will encounter are disproportionate, and (iii) the sacrifices they will have to make are great.
This is the conclusion of The chemistry PhD: the impact on women's retention, a report for the UK Resource Centre for Women in SET and the Royal Society of Chemistry. In this report, the results of a longitudinal study with PhD students in chemistry in the UK are presented.
Men and women show radically different developments regarding their intended future careers. At the beginning of their studies, 72% of women express an intention to pursue careers as researchers, either in industry or academia. Among men, 61% express the same intention.
By the third year, the proportion of men planning careers in research had dropped from 61% to 59%. But for the women, the number had plummeted from 72% in the first year to 37% as they finish their studies.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Three major nations absent as China launches World Bank rival in Asia

Reuters | Oct 24, 2014

SHANGHAI: Australia, Indonesia and South Korea skipped the launch of a China-backed Asian infrastructure bank on Friday as the United States said it had concerns about the new rival to Western-dominated multilateral lenders.
China's $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is seen as a challenge to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, both multilateral lenders that count Washington and its allies as their biggest financial backers.
China, which is keen to extend its influence in the region, has limited voting power over these existing banks despite being the world's second-largest economy.  

The AIIB, launched in Beijing at a ceremony attended by Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei and delegates from 21 countries including India, Thailand and Malaysia, aims to give project loans to developing nations. China is set to be its largest shareholder with a stake of up to 50 percent.
Indonesia was not present and neither were South Korea and Australia, according to a pool report.


The trap of materialism

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Analytical Paper - Introduction to International Studies, Fall 2014

Tugrul Keskin
Introduction to International Studies
Fall 2014 – Monday and Wednesday 2:00 – 3:50 PM

Analytical Paper: In this requirement, you will select a book written by a famous international novelist, and will review (summarize and critique) the novel based on our textbooks. This paper should be at least 1500 words in length. You will find a list of recommended novelists below or D2L. You must provide a word count at the end of your paper. The paper is due on Saturday November 30th. Some recommended well-known novelists include John Steinbeck, Orhan Pamuk, Leo Tolstoy, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Milan Kundera, Naguib Mahfouz, Azar Nafisi, Chinua Achebe, Arundhati Roy, and etc. Everyone will select a different novel. No one will read the same novel. Your selection must be approved and registered by a teaching assistant, Rosie David rosa (at) pdx.edu; therefore you must contact her directly regarding your selection. The deadline for selecting/registering your novel with teaching assistant, Rosie Davis is Sunday, October 27. The deadline for submitting your review is Sunday November 30. Late submissions will not be accepted.
You will follow the same format:
Analytical Paper Format     
Introduction to International Studies Fall 2014   
Title of the Novel  
Reviewed by a name of the student   
  1. Summary of the novel (At least 700 words)
  2. Critique/review of the novel (at least 400 words)
  3. Connection between your book and our class subject/s, such as food, human rights, ethnic and religious conflict, poverty, inequality, imperialism, colonialism, racism, employment, urbanization, health, neoliberalism etc. You will only select one or two topics to write about it. You will need to make a connection between your novel and our class topic/s. (at least 400 words)  

If you choose a novel different than ones shown in the list below, I will need to approve your selection. 

For this paper, you will use our sample format, which is posted on D2L. Please follow the same structure.   

Please check the list below, select a book from this list, and then send Rosie David (Graduate Teaching Assistant) an e-mail rosa (at) pdx.edu specifying on which book you would like to write your review.

Teaching Assistant: Rosie David
Office: East Hall 330
Office Hours: Wednesday 4-6 PM or by appointment

Recommended Novels

1.     The Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings by Abolqasem Ferdowsi
2.     Men in the Sun and Other Palestinian Stories by Ghassan Kanafani
3.     Black Box by Amos Oz
4.     The Cheapest Nights by Yusuf Idris
5.     The Committee by Sun' Allah Ibrahim
6.     The Story of Layla & Majnun by Nizami
7.     The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat
8.     The Yacoubian Building: A Novel by Alaa Al Aswany
9.     Snow by Orhan Pamuk
10.  A Tale of Love and Darkness
11.  My name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
12.  Rhyming Life and Death
13.  Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk
My Michael
16.  The Story of Zahra: A Novel by Hanan al-Shaykh
19.  Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz
20.  Arabian Nights and Days by Naguib Mahfouz
21.  The Book Saladin by Tariq Ali
22.  Utopia by Ahmed Khaled Towfik
23.  Cities of Salt
24.  A Sultan in Palermo by Tariq Ali
The Trench
27.  Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz
29.  The Man who lost his shadow Fathy Ghanem and Desmond Stewart
30.  Karnak Café by Naguib Mahfouz
31.  Dreams by Naguib Mahfouz
32.  Cairo Modern by Naguib Mahfouz
35.  Maryam's Maze by Mansoura Ez-Eldin
37.  Diary of a Country Prosecutor by Tawfik al-Hakim
39.  Wedding Night by Yusuf Abu Rayya
40.  Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea
42.  A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
44.  The Sirens of Baghdad by Yasmina Khadra
45.  The Attack by Yasmina Khadra
46.  In the Name of God by Yasmina Khadra
48.  A Grave in Gaza by Matt Beynon Rees
49.  Arabesques: A Novel by Anton Shammas
50.  Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade by Assia Djebar
51.  Dancing Arabs by Sayed Kashua
2.     Red Sorghum: A Novel of China by Mo Yan
3.     Love in a Fallen City  by Eileen Chang
4.     Bound Feet & Western Dress: A Memoir by Pang-Mei Chang
5.     The Rice Sprout Song by Eileen Chang
9.     The Rouge of the North by Eileen Chang
11.  Shanghai Girls: A Novel by Lisa See
12.  Beijing Coma: A Novel by Ma Jian
13.  Family by Pa Chin
14.  Dreams of Joy: A Novel by Lisa See
15.  Peach Blossom Pavilion by Mingmei Yip
18.  Fortress Besieged by Zhongshu Qian
20.  Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min
24.  Iron and Silk by Mark Salzman
25.  Empress Orchid by Anchee Min
27.  China in Ten Words by Yu Hua
29.  The Last Empress: A Novel by Anchee Min
30.  To Live: A Novel by Yu Hua
31.  Son of the Revolution by Liang Heng
34.  The Concubine's Children by Denise Chong

Latin and Central America
1.     Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings by Jorge Luis Borges
2.     Deep Rivers by José María Arguedas
4.     Daughter of Fortune: A Novel (P.S.) by Isabel Allende
5.     One Hundred Years of Solitude (P.S.) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
7.     Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel (P.S.) by Isabel Allende
Collected Stories
9.     Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo
Memories of My Melancholy Whores
Love in the Time of Cholera (Oprah'...
The War of the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa
The Autumn of the Patriarch (P.S.)
The House of the Spirits
By Night in Chile
In a Free State: A Novel
A House for Mr. Biswas
22.  Body Snatcher by Juan Carlos Onetti
Eva Luna
25.  Death's Dark Abyss by Massimo Carlotto
27.  The Death of Artemio Cruz: A Novel by Carlos Fuentes
The Goodbye Kiss by Massimo Carlotto
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses
Zorro: A Novel (P.S.)
The Slum (Library of Latin America)
33.  Paradiso by José Lezama Lima
34.  I, the Supreme by Augusto Antonio Roa Bastos
35.  The President by Miguel Angel Asturias

1.     Things Fall Apart: A Novel by Chinua Achebe
2.     The God of Small Things: A Novel by Arundhati Roy
3.     A Man of the People by Chinua Achebe
4.     Facing Mount Kenya by Jomo Kenyatta
5.     No Sweetness Here and Other Stories by Ama Ata Aidoo
6.     A Grain of Wheat (African Writers Series) by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
7.     Tsotsi: A Novel by Athol Fugard
9.     Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta
10.  Purple Hibiscus: A Novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
11.  The River Between by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
12.  Efuru (African Writers) by Flora Nwapa
13.  Petals of Blood by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
14.  Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
15.  God's Bits of Wood by Sembene Ousmane
16.  July's People by Nadine Gordimer
17.  Mother to Mother (Bluestreak) by Sindiwe Magona
18.  Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe
19.  Girls at War by Chinua Achebe
21.  Xala by Ousmane Sembene
26.  Changes: A Love Story by Ama Ata Aidoo
28.  African Short Stories by Chinua Achebe
30.  The Famished Road by Ben Okri
32.  Chaka (African Writers) by Thomas Mofolo
33.  Houseboy (African Writers) by Ferdinand Oyono
34.  The Concubine by Elechi Amadi
35.  Yoruba Trickster Tales by Oyekan Owomoyela
36.  No Longer at Ease by Chinua Achebe
38.  Unbowed: A Memoir (Vintage) by Wangari Maathai
39.  Scarlet Song by Mariama Ba
40.  Nehanda by Yvonne Vera
41.  Dilemma of a Ghost and Anowa by Ama Ata Aidoo
42.  Oroonoko (Penguin Classics) by Aphra Behn
43.  Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta
The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior: An … by Tepilit Ole Saitoti
Ake: The Years of Childhood by Wole Soyinka
Sozaboy by Ken Saro-Wiwa
48.  The Poor Christ of Bomba by Mongo Beti
50.  Weep Not, Child (African Writers) by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
52.  Comes the Voyager at Last: A Tale of Return to Africa by Kofi Awoonor
53.  This Earth, My Brother by Kofi Awoonor  This Earth, My Brother by Kofi Awoonor